A taste for Island Hopping

In our quest to head south while also having fun, we are making good progress and giving Murray & Maree a taste for island hopping.

Since our last post, we left Sudbury Cay and sailed to Normanby Island (part of the Frankland Group), then did a long part-motor part-sail to Dunk Island, passing through beautiful islets such as the Barnard Isles. Here is a map of our track since leaving Cairns.

Normanby Island

Getting close to the Frankland Group of Islands. Normanby and Mabel on the left, Russell on the right.

Each stop has something to offer. Normanby Island was scenic even if quite exposed. We were moored at one end of the island, with waves breaking on the shore, in fact big enough to surf! Being intent on getting to the beach for a walk, we had a wet and wild dinghy ride and got totally soaked, but it was nice to stretch our legs.

The view from the mooring at Normanby Island
Beach walk
Mabel Island, just next to Normanby

There was a nice reef point break not far from where we were moored which looked tempting for a surf. Having watched the waves for a while and done a reconnaissance trip in the dinghy to check out the water depth, the boys could not resist going for a body surf.  The girls took photos from the bows of Anui!  It is rare to be anchored somewhere that has calm enough conditions for anchoring and waves for surfing. In fact it just does not happen. Body surfing was fun, but we had a very rock and rolly night on the mooring!  Just as well none of us suffer from sea sickness!

The boys swimming back out
Double header!
The two brothers on the same wave!

Dunk Island

Although we thought we’d head for Mourilyan Harbour for a quiet anchorage, there is nothing much to do there. So we decided to keep sailing all the way to Dunk Island, knowing we would be there for a few days, while we waited for light conditions to go out to the reef.

Barnard Isles
Front seat view for Murray!
Back seat view for Maree!

The beauty of being at Dunk Island is that you can swim, get ashore for bush walks, and pass the time pleasantly. Here is a gallery of some of the sights we enjoyed while waiting for calmer conditions.

Off to the Reef next!

We are all pretty excited as our patience with the weather has been rewarded. We have the best of conditions for the reef for the next 5 or 6 days – calm, sunny, 10 to 15 knots wind, something that does not happen very often! We will be reef hopping our way down south, discovering reefs we have never been to. As we post this we are sailing to Beaver Reef, and intend to hop along to Taylor, John Brewer, Lodestone, and maybe Kelper and Wheeler Reefs… We’ll see what the weather allows us to do. Stay tune for the next episode!

13 thoughts on “A taste for Island Hopping

  1. Very attractive beaches and wonderful sights! If someone is there would definitely have a lot of fun. 🙂

    • Thanks HJ, yes the beaches on these islands are lovely. Unfortunately the fringing reef is poor, destroyed by coastal runoff. But it is nice to be able to do a few bush walks and a change of pace from the outer reef.

  2. How lucky you were to spot a pod of Woolly Headed Bishops frolicking in the wild. One looks to have a more polished dorsal than the other. Is that the juvenile of the species?

    • Yes, Sue, we are really enjoying our time together. And yes how very lucky are we to be able to go out to the reef in calm conditions! We are at Beaver now having a late breakfast before a snorkel. No one around but us and the turquoise water!

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